Surviving the terrible twos

Dealing with the "terrible twos"

Surviving the “terrible twos”

Surviving the “terrible twos”

Just mention these words, the “terrible twos” and watch how parents react.

The reaction could range from knowing smiles, to almost horror, as parents think back to their own experiences with their own “terrible twos”.  Most parents will have all too many stories about that particular period when their toddler went through that developmental phase that we refer to as the “terrible twos”, and can attest to violent mood swings, temper tantrums, screaming etc.

Educational psychologist advises on dealing with the terrible twos
Surviving the "terrible twos"

Is there help?

But, it does’t have to be the “terrible twos”. There are many educational strategies that parents can employ when dealing with the “terrible twos”, they just have to be made aware of it.

Most importantly, it is important to remember that the “terrible twos” is a normal developmental stage in your toddler’s development.  It is during this phase of his life that the toddler starts to become a little independent, and starts to explore his own will.  This is also a time when rapid development takes place in your child, on both a physical en emotional level.

However, as with any exploration, the toddler may feel unsure of himself, and his mood might swing rapidly from total independence to total reliance on his parents.

Terrible twos: have a game-plan

Parents need to be aware that the terrible twos is a reality, but with the right strategy or game plan, parents can actually enjoy this phase of the toddler’s development.  Parents need to be aware of what to expect, and how to react when the child displays certain behaviour.  What is acceptable behaviour, and what not.  What is a parent’s acceptable response to certain behaviour, and what sort of response is not appropriate in handling the terrible twos.

Another important factor when dealing with the terrible twos is that parents need to be consistent in their response to their child’s behaviour.  First of all, consistent in terms of responding in the same way in certain scenarios.  Both parents must agree to act in a certain manner when certain things happen.  But also consistent in terms of responding in the same way, every time the child behaves in a certain way.

Consistency and stability is key

Consistency in behaviour from the parents is probably the most difficult thing to do. One parent might just naturally be more inclined to allow certain behaviour, while the other parent is more strict.  Or, both parents stick to the agreed rules during the day, but might be inclined to ignore these rules in the middle of the night, after the toddler has been crying non-stop for two hours!

During this phase of his life, the toddler needs stability, and one very effective way to create stability is to stick to a specific routine.  Try to stick to specific meal, nap, bath, play and sleep times.  This will help your child to feel safe, and create the stability to will go a long way in helping you survive this trying (but exciting) time!

Contact me for help

If you feel that you are not coping, or doesn’t have a strategy for dealing with your two-year old, contact me for an appointment, and let’s develop your winning game-plan together.  You can also find me on Facebook, when you click here.

Parents and teachers are puzzle pieces in child development - Dr. Marisa van Niekerk Val de Vie and Franschhoek

Emotionally ready for pre-primary school – how parents can help

Supporting your child to become emotionally ready for pre-primary school  Mixed emotions, difficult choices, coping at work, …

Dr. Marisa van Niekerk Educational Psychologist Health, books, writing are all part of the essential school readiness tips for parents

School readiness tips for parents

School readiness tips for parents School readiness tips for parents At this time of the year “school readiness” is one …

Sensory awareness activities for children as discussed by Dr. Marisa van Niekerk Educational Psychologist

Sensory awareness activities for children

Sensory awareness activities for children Our senses help us to make contact with our environment. In the article below I …